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Recent Key West reviews

  • Hidden Gem

    "We really enjoyed out time at the Queen Palm Cottage. It is isolated but yet only two blocks from Duval. We brought our Miniature long haired Dachshund and even he had a great time. The cottage was very Key Westy with bright and alive colors. It is a very well maintained property. Working with Ted was also easy. The pool was very well maintained and the compound is lush and well landscaped. We will try and stay there next summer again but for a longer time."
    Guest: Bobbie and Steve Date of Stay: July 2014 Review Submitted: July 28, 2014
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  • I had the best stay.

    "Rating Details: I was very satisfied with the condition of the vacation rental. I was very happy with the location. The vacation rental was spotless. The property manager was very helpful. Overall, I recommend this vacation rental. Reviewer Comments: My vacation rental was amazing. The condo was about 1 1/2 miles from Duval st. so we need to rent scooters as the walk was to far but its hard to park cars while having fun on Duval. Our condo was right next to Smathers beach so it was walking distance. The condo was large had an amazing size master bathroom. I was impressed with my stay. It was very clean and I seen no bugs. I would definitely stay there again."
    Guest: A guest from Hinckley, OH Date of Stay: July 2014 Review Submitted: August 26, 2014
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  • Great Condo

    "Stayed for 10 nights. This condo was comfortable and spacious. Nice decks off the living room and master bedroom. We have been staying at the Truman Annex complex (Shipyard Condos mostly) for many years. This is now one of our favorites."
    Guest: Pete & Eric Date of Stay: May 2014 Review Submitted: May 30, 2014
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  • Delightful stay!

    "Perfect place for our inter-generational family group of 5 to spread out & enjoy our time in Key West--very comfortable & beautiful view! Nice to have washer & dryer with soap supplied, snorkle gear, plenty of beach towels, etc. We enjoyed the pool & hot tub, especially the neighborhood water aerobics at 9. Clubhouse has nice lending library. The bus stops outside the gate but we took our car to town & found reasonably priced parking near the charming Duetto's Pizza & Gelato place on Greene St."
    Guest: MaJoD Date of Stay: July 2014 Review Submitted: August 2, 2014
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Key West Travel Tips

Key West is a veritable hot spot for literary icons, both today and in the past. This small Florida island was loved by the likes of playwright Tennessee Williams, and poets Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens and Shel Silverstein.

Today, beloved children’s author Judy Blume keeps a home here, and every January for more than 30 years, writers and readers from around the country gather at the high-profile Key West Literary Seminar - spread over two weekends - for lectures, readings, discussions, workshops and parties. The event has featured the likes of Joyce Carol Oates, Junot Diaz and Gore Vidal.

Key West should be high on the list of travel locations for any literary lover and creative soul because of its deep history in extraordinary American literature. Ernest Hemingway even kept a fabulous estate in Key West that today has been converted into a museum and bookstore. Visit the beautiful and historic Ernest Hemingway Home and then check out some of the writer's rumored favorite spots.

Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum

Hemingway’s stately, olive-shuttered two-story cottage at 907 Whitehead Street in Old Town Key West is no doubt a visitor favorite. If you’re a die-hard Hemingway fan, you’ll have to brave the crowds and come here.

The home was built in 1851 from limestone excavated from the exact land upon which it is built. Hemingway bought and lived in the estate from 1931 until 1940 with his wife and kids before he left for Cuba. This spectacular estate, which includes a rear guesthouse and is surrounded by elegant gardens and rustling palms, is still the largest residential property in Key West.

You might be surprised to see that the beds are made in full linens and the home looks recently lived in - it’s as if the family just stepped out for lunch and will be home shortly. Here are the highlights you should take note of inside and around Hemingway’s marvelous estate:

The Ritzy Pool

A pool this large - or any pool at all - in 1930s Key West was a luxury. To fill it, construction workers had to drill to the salt-water table deep in the ground and install a water pump. Hemingway’s wife - Pauline - had the costly pool built as a surprise for Hemingway while he was in Spain in 1938 working as a correspondent during the Spanish Civil War.

The Happy Cats

Hemingway’s six-toed cats - or polydactyls - are legendary. Recently uncovered letters from Hemingway to a friend explain just how sad he was at the loss of one of his cats - Willie. The Hemingway Home and Museum curators maintain that each of the 40 to 50 cats on the grounds is a direct descendant of Hemingway’s first cat, a white polydactyl named Snowball (Though they don’t all have six toes on each paw, all are said to carry the gene for polydactyly). The cats living here are very friendly and many will actually pose for pictures. They’re all vetted and well-taken care of - not your average strays!

The Lush Gardens

The Hemingway House gardens are stunning, featuring a vibrant array of tropical flowers - shrimp plants, heliconia, bleeding hearts and the funky looking pelican flower - and banana, Barbados cherry, papaya and Spanish lime trees, among many others.

Other Literary Tour Stops

410 Caroline Street is Jessie Porter’s home - a fifth-generation Key Wester - who was good friends with Robert Frost. He spent several winters in the cottage in Porter’s backyard. The site used to be the Heritage House Museum, though it has been closed since 2010. If you want to see things the iconic Frost saw, at least take a stroll past the home!

Green Parrot Bar and Sloppy Joe’s Bar are rumored to be hangouts of Hemingway and his friends like Wallace Stevens.

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